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MamaCM

In over my head?

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Good luck, and bless you for stepping in!

 

Another bit of advice: Connect with the local Boy Scout troop and ask for some referrals for possible den chiefs - IMHO, these are ideally older Scouts (13+) who have gone through Cubs and earned the Arrow of Light. They can be a valuable resource.

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These responses have been great. I am soaking it all in. Honestly, I know it is going to be alot of work, but I am just getting more and more excited. I think it is going to be a great year, even with the bumps in the road. This forum ROCKS! I can tell I will be spending quite a bit of time here. Thanks everyone!

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Welcome!

 

What you are doing is basically starting up a brand new Pack. Hard, but possible if you can get the rest of the families to buy into the program.

 

Here is an overview at the BSA National site of training -

 

http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adult.aspx

 

If you look around the site you will find lots of info besides just the online training. You will also be able to find your local council contact info and web site by putting your zip code into the "Find a Local Council" (options right above blue bar) page.

 

Getting together with all of the folks who have volunteered for your Pack (Committee Chair, Den Leaders, Asst Den Leaders, etc) is a good idea. You are all in the same boat so, get to know each other, and start off right as a supportive group working together for the boys. Signing up for your council training together is another good idea. You will be there to support each other, and all get on the same page as to how a Pack should be run. Ask LOTS of questions. Although you can only be registered as the Cubmaster (CM), since you will also be doing the job of Webelos den leader, you really need to take the Cub Scout Leader Specific training for BOTH Webelos DL and CM. Since you can't do them both at once, I suggest you take the Webelos Specific with your Asst Den Leader first. NOTE - You are not restricted to taking only the training offered in your District. Check out the training calendar for the entire council and pick dates that work for you and the other leaders. You might have to travel further, but getting the training ASAP is important.

 

Another thing you will need to do is find out who owns your Pack - your Charter Organization - and who is listed as their Charter Organization Representative (COR). You and your Committee Chair (CC) will need to contact them to see what kind of a relationship there is with the Pack, how/if you can help it improve, and what, if anything, they are willing to do to help their Pack succeed.

 

Find out from your DE if your Pack has a Unit Commissioner (UC). You UC is a knowledgeable Scouter (adult BSA volunteer), and can help with ideas, contacting your CO/COR, and many more things. A good UC is a mentor to your Pack and a contact with your council folks.

 

Read thru your Webelos son's Handbook. That should give you at least an idea of what the Webelos program is.

 

Thank you for volunteering. There is a lot of work in front of you and the other leaders, but you can all do it. Remember the basic Cub Scout mantras - Do Your Best - Keep It Simple Make It Fun !!

 

Have FUN!

 

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Hi and Welcome.

I'm sitting here trying to think if I would have done what you did?

It has just dawned on me, that this is a waste of time as you have already done it.

My feeling is that if you fail the Pack is going to fold.

 

I really would like to meet this DE.

He sounds like he could sell ice to the Eskimos!

A word of caution about DE's (Which might or might not apply!) The DE has a different agenda than us volunteers. There is a chance that now he has "Saved The Pack" He is going to head for the hills.

You knowing and accepting that you are in at the deep end is a good thing. Use it to your advantage.

Rush out and buy a copy of The Cub Scout Leader Book. Read it from cover to cover at least once.

Phone the Council Service Center ask them to send you a full list of all the District Committee Members and a full list of all the Unit Commissioners.

When you get the lists phone the District Membership Chair, District Training Chair, District Commissioner and the District Activities Chair.

Talk to these people. Lay it on thick that you are new, that you need their help and how you feel that you are in over your head. When you talk with the District Commissioner find out if there is a Commissioner assigned to the Pack? If there isn't ask him who will be assigned. Do not allow him to in any way wriggle out of having someone assigned ASAP.

If he says that he hasn't got anyone, push him into doing the job. Do not let him off the hook.

When you find out who is serving as Commissioner for the pack, ask them to set up a meeting with the Chartering Organization, the Chartering Organization Rep and yourself.

If there is a Committee Chair? Bring him or her along as well.

You need to find out and hopefully build on the support that the CO is going to provide.

While many units get by with little or no support from their CO. Having their support makes life a little easier.

 

Many people who take on the role of Cubmaster, think that this is all about dealing with cute little fellows.

While of course everything we do is all about and all for cute little fellows. The Cubmaster is more of a management position.

A Pack Committee is to provide the support that the Pack needs to offer the program (Program being the stuff the Scouts do.) The Den Leaders deliver the program. The CM tries to ensure that the Den Leaders are all on the same page, working as separate Dens but pulling together as a Pack. With the help of the Pack Committee Chair the CM informs the Committee what the needs of the Pack are.

The Pack Meeting once a month is the easy bit!

As soon as possible take a look at the Monthly themes that the BSA has come up with for Packs. Meet with the Den Leaders and see which of these you are going to use and come up with replacements that everyone is happy with. Having the Unit Commissioner at this first planning meeting might be a good idea.

Think big. Make full use of the programs that the District and the Council offer. Make the highpoint of the Pack year Cub Scout resident camp. The kids will really enjoy it and once you have found ways of selling the parents on the idea, you have nothing to do but sit back and read a good book.

Your Den Leaders are the most important people in the Pack (After the Scouts of course!) Be nice to them, treat them like adults! Be sure to thank them, pat them on the back and always recognize them for the hard work they are doing.

Cub Scouting is not cheap! I believe that parents will pay for a quality program. Never be afraid to do something just because you think it costs too much. Have the Pack attend all the District events. Not only will the Scouts have a great time, but you and the Den Leaders will get to meet and mix with the other adults in Cub Scouting. Networking in Scouting does help a lot.

You have taken on a lot.

Please don't make the mistake of putting your family on the back burner. You are going to need their help and support.

Failing to remember this will cause you to "Burn- Out" really fast.

Good Luck

Eamonn.

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MamaCM,

First off welcome to Scouting and the forums on thsi site. Scouting is an program and serving as a leader is not only a responsibility, but also enorumous fun.

 

Lots of good advice has been given. I wuld like to add teh followig resource:

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Leaders/CubScoutHelps.aspx

 

That is a link to CS Program Helps, basically premade lessons plans to modify as you see fit for Den and pack meetings.

 

Good luck!

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One suggestion:

 

Call the DE and require that he/she assign you a qualified unit commissioner immediately. This should be someone who has been a Cubmaster in recent history. I would make this a deal breaker. This UC should be available to come to every Pack meeting and monthly leadership committee meeting and act as a mentor to help you get things rolling. Even if your monthly leadership meetings consist of just the two of you sitting down at Starbucks for 90 minutes, it will really help a lot. It doesn't need to be long term arrangement once you get past the annual recharter, you should have a handle on things, but I would not rely on the DE for full time support. Youve jumped into some deep waters. Ultimately, youre going to be happy you took on this role as CM, but with zero parent support you should not be reinventing the wheel on your own.

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I found out today that my DE is actually my neighbor. We had a talk and he is going to meet with all of the parents and myself. He also said he is going to make sure we get a UC. I know it is a big undertaking, but I think it is all going to come together. I truly believe the other parents will come around.

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meschen - The DE doesn't recruit or assign Unit Commissioners, that is the job of the District Commissioner. It has been suggested that MamaCM contact the District Commissioner and that would be a good move on her part.

 

Another point that hasn't been mentioned is that many districts have a group of trainers that are ready and willing to step in to lend assistance when a pack is in trouble. The District Commissioner should be able to tell MamaCM whether or not that type of assistance is available to help her get her group organized since she is starting with very little background in the Scouting program.

 

Having your DE as a neighbor will be a tremendous help as you sort things out.

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